Android and iOS see continued growth in Q4 as BlackBerry, Windows and Symbian slide

ComScore released its most recent U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share report for the three-month period ending in December, 2011. The research firm found that Samsung remained the top mobile phone vendor in the fourth quarter with a 25.3% market share — the same share as it held in the third quarter. LG’s market share dropped 0.6 percentage points to a 20% share for second place followed by Motorola, which fell 0.5 percentage points to 13.3%. Apple had the fourth largest share with a 12.4% market share, up 2.2 percentage points, and RIM fell 0.4 points to a 6.7% share. Read on for more.

Android remains the most used smartphone operating system in the United States with a 47.3% share of the market, up 2.5 percentage points from the last report. Android is followed by iOS, which grew 2.2 points to a 29.6% share, BlackBerry OS, which fell 2.9 points to a 16% share, Microsoft’s mobile Windows platform (4.7%, down 0.9 percentage points) and Symbian (1.4%, down 0.4 percentage points). ComScore did not distinguish whether or not Microsoft’s share represented Windows Phone, Windows Mobile or both.

ComScore said that 97.9 million U.S. residents owned a smartphone during the three months ended December 2011, which represents 40% of all mobile subscribers. The firm also said 234 million Americans aged 13 and older own a mobile device. The company’s full press release follows below.

comScore Reports December 2011 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share

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RESTON, VA, February 2, 2012 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released data from the comScore MobiLens service, reporting key trends in the U.S. mobile phone industry during the three month average period ending December 2011. The study surveyed more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers and found Samsung to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 25.3 percent market share. Google Android strengthened its lead in the smartphone market to reach 47.3 percent market share.

OEM Market Share

For the three-month average period ending in December, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices. Device manufacturer Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 25.3 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers, followed by LG with 20 percent share and Motorola with 13.3 percent share. Apple continued to gain ground in the OEM market with 12.4 percent share of total mobile subscribers (up 2.2 percentage points), while RIM rounded out the top five with 6.7 percent share.

Top Mobile OEMs
3 Month Avg. Ending Dec. 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Sep. 2011
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone) Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Sep-11 Dec-11 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Samsung 25.3% 25.3% 0.0
LG 20.6% 20.0% -0.6
Motorola 13.8% 13.3% -0.5
Apple 10.2% 12.4% 2.2
RIM 7.1% 6.7% -0.4

Smartphone Platform Market Share

97.9 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in December, representing 40 percent of all mobile subscribers. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 47.3 percent market share, up 2.5 percentage points from September. Apple maintained its #2 position, growing 2.2 percentage points to 29.6 percent of the smartphone market. RIM ranked third with 16 percent share, followed by Microsoft (4.7 percent) and Symbian (1.4 percent).

Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Month Avg. Ending Dec. 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Sep. 2011
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Sep-11 Dec-11 Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Google 44.8% 47.3% 2.5
Apple 27.4% 29.6% 2.2
RIM 18.9% 16.0% -2.9
Microsoft 5.6% 4.7% -0.9
Symbian 1.8% 1.4% -0.4

Mobile Content Usage

In December, 74.3 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 3.2 percentage points. Downloaded applications were used by 47.6 percent of subscribers (up 5.1 percentage points), while browsers were used by 47.5 percent (up 4.6 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 3.8 percentage points to 35.3 percent of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 31.4 percent of the mobile audience (up 2.6 percentage points), while 23.8 percent listened to music on their phones (up 2.9 percentage points).

Mobile Content Usage
3 Month Avg. Ending Dec. 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Sep. 2011
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone) Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Sep-11 Dec-11 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Sent text message to another phone 71.1% 74.3% 3.2
Used downloaded apps 42.5% 47.6% 5.1
Used browser 42.9% 47.5% 4.6
Accessed social networking site or blog 31.5% 35.3% 3.8
Played Games 28.8% 31.4% 2.6
Listened to music on mobile phone 20.9% 23.8% 2.9
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